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Vitamin D: a Cinderella story

Vitamin D: a Cinderella story

Though vitamin D was not popular with the public for a long time, it has gained attention in past years for preventing many health problems such as osteoporosis, hypertension, cancer, low birth weight in babies and possibly more. The U.S. Institutes of Medicine does not promote the positive effects of vitamin D, but vitamin-D experts Robert Heaney, MD, and Bruce Hollis, MD, recommend dosages per day.

Beginning in 2008, the Prince (the public in this conceit) discovered that the heretofore plain Jane vitamin D was, instead, something of a rare beauty, capable of charming away numerous health problems such as osteoporosis, hypertension, cancer, low birth weight in babies and possibly more.

Since then, a fetching number of published studies have revealed the sunshine vitamin’s salubrious effect on everything from bones to heart, and on conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cancer. Medical celebrities touted it on TV. The love affair was on.

Sales soared some 74 percent  in a year’s time. Woohoo! The couple couldn’t seem to get enough of each other. Their eyes sparkled with visions of happily ever after.

But the dour stepmother and stepsisters (the U.S. Institutes of Medicine) were not yet done with Cinderella. “She’s not really so pretty,” they insisted. “In fact, she can’t provide for you anything you aren’t already getting from just living like you were, eating your regular old meals, and getting a little sunshine. You don’t really need more of her in your life.”

Others who knew Cinderella much better (such as vitamin-D experts Robert Heaney, MD, of Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. and Bruce Hollis, MD, of the Medical University of South Carolina) tried to tell the Prince not to listen to them, that Cinderella was indeed even more lovely and wonderful than the Prince first believed. But within two years time, it was apparent that the Prince’s passion had, nonetheless, cooled a bit.

This year sales rose by only 35 percent.

Will the happy couple rediscover the magic? Will they finally commit and produce a bunch of little vitamin D applications to fill the happy couple’s house of functional nutrition?

A lot may depend on getting the message to the Prince. Just how much vitamin D are the real vitamin D experts recommending?

  • 1,000 to 1,500 IU/a day for kids
  • 1,500 to 2,000 IU/a day for adults
  • 1,000 IU a day for pregnant women, plus prenatal vitamins, and 200 more IU from diet
  • 400 IU per day for infants (according to The American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • Those in less-sunny climes need to adjust upward
  • No adverse effects have been found with doses up to 10,000 IU per day
  • The goal of this is to achieve healthful blood levels of 40 to 75 ng/ml

One positive sign that at least some folks in the naturals channel have paid no heed to the stepmother and stepsisters: Sales of vitamin D herbal formulas have jumped more than 1,200 percent since last year. And bread and edible oils show much promise as future fortification targets.

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